A look at some of the interesting stories that happened over the course of July - December 2018


Lucky 13

Longtime country music star Joni Harms, of Canby, has released her 13th album, aptly named "Lucky 13."

"For a long time, I've said that if I get to make 13 albums, when I get to my 13th, it's going to be called 'Lucky 13,'" Harms said.

While Harms has been through the album release process many times before, sometimes while signed to big labels, the number 13 and this album are extra special to her.

"It's a special number to me…because first of all my dad was released from World War II on Nov. 13 at dock 13, and so 13 was always a special number to him," Harms said. "What really clenched it is on June 13, 23 years ago, [my daughter Olivia] was born in Room 13, June 13 at 13:13 military time, 1:13 in the afternoon…So yeah, I just said that is my lucky number."

Former Canby Pastor pleads guilty to sex abuse

In a full courtroom last Tuesday, the former pastor of Canby First Baptist Church and principal of First Baptist School was handcuffed and taken into custody after he pleaded guilty to four of the original nine counts of sexual abuse as the result of a plea agreement.

On July 3, 2018, six years after the abuse of a minor female, Judge Michael Wetzel found Lee Wiegand guilty of four counts of sexual abuse in the second degree and dismissed the other five counts as agreed upon by District Attorney Scott Healy and Wiegand's attorney Michael Clancy.

Per the indictment, two of the counts were for sexual intercourse and the other two were for differing methods of sexual intercourse.

"This was a significantly negotiated case," Healy said at the hearing.

Magical Musical Memorable Moments

Hot temperatures didn't stop tribute band lovers from coming out in droves for Harefest 8 and Sunday's family-friendly Harefest for All over the weekend in Canby.

In its eighth year, the "mother of all tribute band festivals" overtook the grounds of Pat's Acres Racing Complex July 12-15 and boasted bands playing the music of Led Zeppelin, Journey, Guns N' Roses, Queen, Heart, AC/DC, Metallica, Motley Crue and many more.

"They sound very much like the real thing," said second-time Harefester Kim Churchwell.

School district excludes controversial OBOB book

Canby School District has opted to exclude the controversial book "George" from the district Oregon Battle of the Books contest in the upcoming school year, citing that it contains content that is not age-appropriate. But some contend that leaving the book out is inadvertently discriminatory since the book's main character is transgender.

Helicopter 'Huey' gets a life

Helicopter "Huey" got a lift on Sunday, July 15, and was transported to Austen's Body Shop for a new coat of paint.

The Canby Vietnam Era Veterans Memorial, which houses the suspended Bell UH-1 helicopter known as Huey, is situated on the southern edge of Canby on Highway 99E.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, the Canby-Aurora Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6057 has been working to maintain the memorial, and that includes Huey's new paint job.

CAROL ROSEN - Building Hogwarts with LEGO's was a fun summer activity.


Talking sin, forgiveness & politics

Franklin Graham's visit to the Portland area landed him at the Clackamas County Event Center in Canby on Sunday, Aug. 5, where he preached a message about God's judgment to a crowd of more than 12,000 people.

He urged them to get involved in politics through praying, voting and running for public offices.

The event was one stop on his "Decision America Pacific Northwest Tour," during which Graham is urging Christians to vote in the midterm elections.

Dahlia Apartments officially open

Developer Mary Hanlon lauded the city and its officials, while Tim Dale saluted the work of many, before Mayor Brian Hodson offered his hopes for the future.

It was all part of the open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony for The Dahlia apartment project.

While work continues on the four retail spaces at the base of the apartments, a large part of the more than 150 onlookers at the ceremony took the opportunity to be toured through the apartments. It's a project that all involved are particularly happy with.

Brewing up some local potential

There's something potentially brewing in Canby that could be quite tasty.

During last week's ceremony for the Dahlia Apartments, there was something interesting going on around the corner in the old Canby Police building. Standing in the doorway was Matt Morrissey, who along with partner Colin Moore, plans to open Modest City Brewing in 2019.

Morrissey had floor plans and architect's renderings on hand to show those who stopped by to help them catch the vision he and Moore have moving forward for the space.

Fair creates unique journey

This year, fairgoers, who traveled from across the nation and even across the world, could continue their journey once they arrived at the County Fair.

The Clackamas County Fair debuted its "Journey Map Passport," a pamphlet given to fairgoers upon entry, which includes 25 stops to visit at the fair.

Those who got a stamp at each stop could turn the passport in for the chance to win prizes. Guests were also encouraged to place a magnet on the huge world map behind the main stage to indicate where in the world they are from.

"We wanted to see where their journey started to come to the fair," said Tyler Nizer, marketing coordinator.


County deep into Canby Ferry feasibility study

The County continues to move the Canby Ferry feasibility study toward completion. The responses from more than 250 people attending the first open house in June are now compiled.

It's a complicated study to look at the six or seven different pieces within the study, including cost analysis for the ferry, cost analyses for the bridge, toll rates and the assessment of steps leading to the final report.

"We have a number of pieces to make up for the final study report," said Stephen Williams, project manager. The study is considering continuing or discontinuing ferry service, building a new bridge without tolls but with or without ferry service and building a toll bridge with or without ferry service.

Cora gets a heart

"Heart is in and beating on its own already and it went great!" is the message Rachelle Dominguez sent out to family just one day after she had received the call that a new heart was waiting for her 7-year-old daughter Cora.

Cora, a Carus Elementary student, was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, a defect in which the left side of the heart does not develop fully. She also has coexisting heart defects.

When she was four years old, it became apparent she would need a transplant much sooner than anyone expected. Her energy began to wane, and her family became accustomed to her purple lips, fingers and toes.

Kids build Hogwarts castle

It was the last day of August when Bricks & Minifigs invited three sets of Lego lovers to the store to build Hogwarts Castle. One of a series of monthly activities held by the store, it was timed to coincide with the release of 12 new Harry Potter themed sets and the re-release of older sets and games as well as Fantastic Beasts.

Self-proclaimed missionaries cause stir at CHS

"I think it's disgusting…'God hates sinners' is the biggest sign I've seen yet," said Canby High School student Madison Glenn as a group of men stood across from the school parking lot holding signs and using megaphones to yell messages to the students.

When the group of men first arrived on the afternoon of Friday, Sept. 21, they were on school property; and Canby Police showed up to force them off the grounds and monitor the situation.

The group is called "Gospel Invasion Ministries." They are self-proclaimed "missionaries" hailing from Michigan. They are in town to drop in and preach against compassion at a compassion-focused conference called Compassion to Action, happening at the Oregon Convention Center this week, according to a group member, who wanted to be referred to only by his first name, Ryan.


Colorful dahlia mural brightens up downtown Canby

Just as dahlia season is winding down, some new dahlias have come into bloom that will last year-round.

A large, colorful dahlia mural is nearing completion on the backside of the old police station on Northwest First Avenue in Canby.

The old police station, along with the new Dahlia building, the old city hall and the former Canby Utility building, is owned by Hanlon Development.

BPMS students welcome S. Korean


Students from Daegu, South Korea stayed in the homes of Baker Prairie Middle School students and joined them at school last week, Oct. 15-19.

Twenty-four Daegu students of Gangbuk Middle School, along with their principal Mr. Chang and English teachers Ms. Bae and Ms. Kwon, arrived on Friday, Oct. 12.

Gangbuk is one of Baker Prairie's two South Korean sister schools as part of the Korean Studies program, in its eleventh year.

A day of honor

Seeing a need, and having the passion, a trio of Canby residents want to make Veteran's Day something special in Canby.

Organizers Greg Perez, Chuck Fretwell and American Legion Post Commander Steve Renhard, all Canby veterans, are hoping to create something unique and long-lasting to the area.

"Veteran's Day is of great significance and importance to me," explained Perez. "It is a day I wanted to share with my brothers in arms. Sadly, there was no observance in our community.

Canby's inaugural Veteran's Day celebration was be held Sunday, Nov. 11, at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial along Highway 99E in Canby. The celebration will also mark the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day.

Canby receives tourism grant

The City of Canby will get a bite of the $350,000 Travel Oregon is awarding for local tourism projects.

Canby's $13,500 grant will be used to create the first-ever Canby Tourism Plan, which will gather input from stakeholders and use insights from demographics studies to create a marketing and initial strategic plan.

It's all part of larger plan, according to Economic Development Director Jamie Stickel.

KRISTEN WOHLERS - Ninety-One School takes care of their own during the Christmas season.


Heading to Florida to help

Harvey Brown was quite excited to head to Florida on Oct. 30 to volunteer his help to the Red Cross in assisting the victims of Hurricane Michael. While he's retired, he likes to keep busy, so he volunteers to give back and also give some of his time by reading to the students at one of the middle schools.

He's a jovial, happy person, and one that likes to help others. His excitement over getting to help was quite apparent.

"There are many ways to volunteer to the Red Cross," he said. "You can give blood and many other things to help others that need help. But in order to travel to cites, you have to be trained. When I got the training and they explained what I'd be doing, I decided to try.

Hodson ready for fourth term as city's mayor

With a fourth term as Canby's mayor in his pocket, Brian Hodson is looking forward to continuing his work.

Hodson was unopposed in this year's General Election, something he's gotten used to. In four elections, Hodson has only had to beat back the challenge of an opponent once. Hopefully, he said, that's a good sign.

"I'd like to think I'm doing a good job as mayor," he said, "and that the community and city council feel we are headed in a real positive direction and that me being mayor continues to be a positive thing. When the citizens of Canby feel I'm not doing a good job, they'll let me know."

Dancers on fire

In three straight competitions the Canby High dance team picked up a slew of first-place finishes. This comes on the back of last season where Canby won its fourth state title, and the dominant Cougars show no signs of slowing down.


The Grove hits 90

Canby Grove has been part of the area's recreational scenery for 90 years, but as the years have changed, so has the facility. The original 17-acre plot is now 54 acres, even as owners seek to pay off an additional 20 acres.

While Canby Grove began under the auspices of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church to operate a family camp one or two weeks in the summer, it's now doing business year-round, although it doesn't offer its facilities on Christmas or Thanksgiving.

"We like to give our staff a rest at least at Christmas and Thanksgiving," said Angie Anderson, who owns Canby Grove along with her husband John.

A tradition of giving the gift of inclusion

Everyone's story is a little different, but there's little doubt that making sure people aren't alone on Christmas makes a difference.

For Pam and Don Furlan, that difference is making a Christmas meal for those who need it. The tradition continues this year.

Once again the Canby Adult Center will open its doors on Christmas day for those who may have nowhere to go.

"It's a huge blessing," said Pam Furlan, who along with her husband run the annual event. "We get to see a lot of people who would otherwise be spending Christmas by themselves.

Ninety-One families bless their own for holidays

With the holidays comes the famous hustle and bustle—shopping, giving, decorating and more. But this time of year, Ninety-One School families are bustling around for a purpose.

Each year, the school's parent-teacher organization holds its "December Events" to help Ninety-One families in need. The program, which has been going on for more than 15 years, involves a food drive, sock and underwear drive, giving tree and book collection; and then culminates in a gift-wrapping day.

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